My next prospect profile was supposed to be Morgan Moses from Virginia, but the Junior decided to head back to school for his Senior year, so instead I have decided to go with a versatile lineman - Brian Winters from Kent State University.
Winters is a very versatile player, he began his career at right tackle in 2009, continued at the position in 2010, then moved to right guard in 2011 and finally to left tackle in 2012. He has however been practicing at guard in the lead up to the Senior Bowl in mobile, Alabama. He's a guard in the NFL for sure, so the fact he has already accepted this and already working to refine his game in this area is definitely a positive.
Winters is a three time all-mid-American conference player and this past season he blocked for an offense that averaged 33.1 points a game and over 225 yards on the ground rushing per game.
First of all he is extremely versatile, I'm not saying he'll make a good left tackle or right tackle for that matter at the next level, however he'll be able to do a job there through experience. Very vocal player and was seen as a team leader. No incidents with the law as far as I'm aware. A very physical player who never backs down, finishes his blocks well and plays with a mean streak. Extremely durable and has never missed any extensive time through injury despite starting from 2009 right through his senior year. Plays with a wide base and a good foundation, excellent hands when pass blocking and very strong arms. Good lateral ability to mirror pass rushers, has good awareness for the blitz. Plays with good leverage and sinks his hips well, has a core strength that enables him to counter any power moves. Takes very good angles in run blocking and works to the next level. Gets off the snap quickly and is exceptional at inline blocking. A little bit of a mauler - which makes him more suitable to the guard position. Has good body control and is actually quite quick for a lineman.
Has spent the majority of his time in college at the tackle position and he doesn't have the body type to play that position full time in the NFL so will need to learn the guard position a little more. Played from the 2 point stance in college so will need to shape his game on putting his hand in the dirt. Doesn't always react that well to defensive line shifts in pass protection and will need to do a little better with his awareness on second level blitzs. Sometimes allows his pad level to be elevated by rushers. Will need to see how he does against better level competition in the senior bowl and then in pre-season practices.
Winters has a lot to like about his game. His in-line blocking and physical play style always appeals to me with lineman. Do we need a guard? well with Vlad showing very little and Moore getting up there in age and a free agent, it may be prudent to start developing one. I think his stock will be early 3rd round to the middle of the 4th round. It depends how he interviews and how he looks with his hand in the dirt inside at guard. It's definitely going to be interesting to see how he develops.
Would I Draft Him For The Jets?
If he fell to the 4th round then I would snap him up. I think he has enough about him to make him a good prospect and I wouldn't call him a project as such, certainly not in the mold of Vlad. I think he can become a very reliable starter, not necessarily a perennial pro-bowler, but someone you can rely on. So in the 4th yes, our pick in the 3rd is too early for my taste.